M A I N   N E W S

Major, cop killed in gunbattle
Shariq Majeed
Tribune News Service

Thannamandi (Rajouri), July 20
On the heels of militants blowing up an Army convoy killing at least nine soldiers and injuring at least 20 others at Narbal in Kashmir valley, the militants struck again killing a Major and a head constable of the Special Operation Group (SOG) of the state police last night at Kunda village, near here. Two jawans and a constable of the Indian Reserve Police (IRP) were severely injured in the attack.

The deceased have been identified as Maj Bhanu Pratap Singh, a resident of Jaipur, posted with 43 RR, head constable Anjeeb Rana of Doda posted with the SOG, Rajouri, while Gyan Prakash and Ravinder Singh of 43 RR and Zaffar Javed, an IRP constable of the Jammu and Kashmir Police, have been injured.

Army sources claimed that on specific information, a joint team of the Thannamandi-based 43 RR and the Rajouri SOG launched a search and destroy operation in Kunda near here on Saturday night. After cordoning the area, a search party led by Major Bhanu reached a dhok (temporary shed used by nomads in higher reaches) owned by Gulzar Begum of Shahdara Sharief area and knocked at the door. Begum who was inside the dhok at that time was allegedly used by militants, reportedly belonging to Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), as their shield, sources added.

Even as the militants refused to open the door, Major Bhanu insisted on the militants, reportedly five in number, to open the door and release the woman held hostage by them. As soon as the troops broke open the door, militants fired on them and in the ensuing gunbattle Major Bhanu and head constable Rana died on the spot.

While trying to escape from the dhok, militants lobbed a grenade on the troops in which two jawans and a police constable received severe injuries.

The Rajouri SSP while confirming that a Major and an SOG personal lost their lives in the operation said militants managed to escape after inflicting causalities on the security forces.

Meanwhile, security forces have cordoned off the area and have launched search and destroy operation to nab the militants.


Grenade attack in Gulmarg claims two lives
Tribune News Service & PTI

Srinagar, July 20
Two persons, a tourist and a minor boy, were killed while seven others injured when militants hurled a grenade on a parked tourist vehicle at Gulmarg hill resort this evening.

Thirty-six-year-old Ashok Kumar, a resident of Uttar Pradesh, was declared brought dead by doctors at Tangmarg Hospital, while eight-year-old Mohammad Yousuf Chopan of Baba Reshi area of Gulmarg was pronounced dead at the SMHS Hospital, where he was referred for specialised treatment.



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